Sunday, September 15, 2013

Feeling Pincushiony

My butt is not happy with me. This new protocol has an obscene amount of butt shots built into it, which started this weekend. I am excited, because it means that transfer is sooner rather than later, and this new protocol is hopefully going to make a big difference for me, but OUCH. Yesterday in particular was a medication-heavy day--Lupron shot in the morning, PIO and Del Estrogen butt shots in the morning, my big nasty dose of Medrol (oral thank goodness, but holy bad taste, Batman), and then a second PIO shot in the evening. I am exhausted. It hurts to sit down. And then we went for a five mile hike up and down a ton of hills today, which I think made matters a bit worse. Or maybe better--maybe working my glutes works the oil right into the muscles. Ha.

I am concerned about the effects of all this progesterone. I am concerned about two things--the sleepiness (PIO turns me into a yawning, napping lump), and the effect on my pants size. Mostly the sleepy, because when you are teaching all day and you are bouncing around from one area of the building to another (but not between two buildings, which is a lovely change), you need energy. Oh, and I teach 8th grade special education, so that in itself requires a LOT of energy. It's going to be a rough haul. Especially since I am hoping that all of these wonderful changes are going to seal the deal--that I will be tired because of PIO, Estrogen, AND being in my first trimester. Because, as all you infertile people know, all these drugs continue anywhere from the 10th week to the 13th week of pregnancy. Pincushiony all the way to the second trimester.

And, apparently, just plain cushiony. I am so frustrated, because my master plan was to work out like a fiend after my June negative and get myself in a good place to start a cycle. I gain between 8-12 pounds per cycle, and then work my tushy off to try to at least get back to where I started. Unfortunately, there's been a bit of a creep, and I was further up the scale than I wanted to be after that awful failed donor cycle. But, I did my workouts diligently all July and the first half of August--power yoga, yoga/pilates blends, yoga/pilates/dance with weights and without, 3-5 mile walks at a very sweaty and red-faced pace. And NOTHING REALLY HAPPENED. Well, that's not entirely true. I did feel like a lost an inch or two, but my weight went up. Yes, yes, muscle weighs more than fat, but after 4 weeks I would think there would be a balancing and I would start dropping... And then after 6 weeks it still wasn't happening and I had to have that hysteroscopy. Complete with a week of no exercise and then it was the week before school and I was all stressed out, and then school started and man I do a terrible job of exercising in those first weeks. School sucks everything out of me. I love it, and my year is off to a fabulous start, but it virtually takes all the energy I have and when I get home I collapse on the couch for an hour. I should try going for a walk, but considering the drugs coursing through my veins, I think I deserve couch time. I try to make up for it on the weekends (like today's 5 mile hike with many hills and roots to scramble over).

However, I had a sobering experience when trying on my pants the morning of the first day of school. WHAT WAS I THINKING??? I should have tried them on a week before, so that if they were, uh, snug, I could get new ones. Oh wait. Late August/early September is the time of no money, and so I couldn't get new ones. But I wasn't expecting that some of pants would NOT FIT AT ALL OUTRIGHT, and that the other ones zipped and buttoned, but were verging on uncomfortable. Sigh. I have a lot of elastic-waist skirts, but I have a teeny problem. It is not a big deal, and probably I am making more of a deal out of it than it truly is. I have this little green snake tattoo above my right ankle, on the inside. It's 3 inches long and a relatively happy little snake, not a scary biker snake or anything. No fangs, just a little red forked tongue. I got it when I was 24 and not a teacher. There are a zillion teachers with tattoos, but somehow I think that an ivy ankle bracelet or a dolphin or a rose or something like that is a little less distracting than a green snake. I like to wait a bit before my students see it--I like for them to get to know me and make their assumptions and THEN see the snake tattoo because it does cause a bit of a stir. Briefly, usually. Of course then winter and pants and tights happens and the snake doesn't come out until spring, and the students have tattoo amnesia and get all excited about my snake all over again. But, for now, I want to keep my snake my secret. Which means pants. Which is sad, because having my pants not fit BEFORE the advent of PIO is a bad, bad sign.

But again, and I've written about this before, a little vain part of me DOES NOT WANT NEW PANTS unless they are of the elastic-banded maternity variety. I have worked hard to stay at the high end of the tubs of pants sizes that I have holed up in my closets and crawlspaces. I do not want to invest in a bigger size when, ostensibly, I will be shopping for maternity clothes before Christmas. Please, please, let me be shopping for maternity clothes by Christmas... So I must work out and try not to eat my face off. Even though nothing makes this cranky fertility patient feel better than comfort food. Hopefully my racing around the middle school all day helps, and my complete inability to snack until dinnertime.

Other than the pincushion ass and the cushiony ass and tummy and my general sense of malaise when not hiking or attacking weeds and overgrown or dead plants in my garden, and the fits of rage and sadness that I seem to swing through on a daily basis (thank you Bryce for loving me even when I've transformed into this hormonal beast), I'm good though. Hopeful. A smidge terrified, which makes me sad because transfer days used to be such a beautiful moment of abject hope and opportunity. Now I am nervous, although less so for having those insidious bleeding polyps removed that may have been a reason why I wasn't wildly successful with my last cycle. It's kind of nice to have something concrete to hang on to in that regard. The nebulous "we're not sure why it failed" is so much harder to deal with. The Valium will help calm me, I'm sure! Also, I have my new little ladybug elephant, and that silver body cross from my teacher friend, and my little pewter "hope" cockle shell that feels reassuringly like a worry stone, and my "hope" star that my best friend sent me a couple years ago. I think this time I am going to line them up on the table during the transfer. A bit odd, but better than the ceramic elephant teapot and pomegranate seed offering that I laid out for one of my transfers. I figure I have to keep the embryologist guessing--what decorations has she brought this time? Yup, just a collection of hope talismans. Having a little party while you load me up with my SuperEmbryo that is going to make me a mama.

Any positive thoughts at all in the next few weeks would be greatly appreciated. I am so excited for the new bloggy friends who have attained their BFPs, but I'm feeling awfully lonely on this side of things, and definitely a little dejected and deficient that I'm off to a donor FET when just about every donor patient I know got pregnant off the first, fresh cycle. Recently at least. Send me your baby dust, send me your thoughts of stickiness and hope and positive results. I have a really good feeling about this cycle (but really, when don't I...), and it will calm me so much to know that there is a warm light surrounding me during this difficult time where the magic either happens or doesn't, an orange creation beacon to the Universe that says, "ENOUGH already--the baby goes right here, in this beautifully renewed uterus, to these wonderful people who have learned enough lessons about loss and how badly you can want something, and experienced more pain than really is necessary in life. Make that magic happen, right here, right now. Pretty please."

Much love, folks.


  1. I understand, as I was in a similar place when everyone in my support group graduated and I felt like nothing would work, after my three failed IVFs. Anyway, I am sending you immense stickiness. I hope and wish that this time is it for you!

    It sucks about the PIO. I used to buy myself a box of nice chocolates at the start of a cycle, and I'd bite into one right as the needle went in. It gave me a little treat to balance out the impending soreness.

  2. That is a fabulous idea! Love it. I eat chocolate covered mini pretzels after the Medrol because it tastes so awful... :) I never thought of chocolate with the shots! Thank you for my stickiness immensity. I will TAKE it! Thanks muchly.

  3. I nominated you for the Liebster Award!